The Central App

My Town: Ranfurly

The Central App

01 January 2024, 7:50 PM

My Town: RanfurlyRanfurly is a popular destination for people visiting Central Otago. PHOTO: Geoff Marks

Welcome to the next installment of our "My Town" series.

This initiative is to find the charm and attractions of diverse small townships nestled in the heart of Central Otago. Our aim is to provide holiday-makers with an immersive experience that delves far beyond the well-known landmarks, such as Cromwell’s iconic big fruit sculpture and the majestic Clyde Dam. The series will unfold with weekly releases every Saturday and Wednesday until the 26 of January. Over this period, we will cover towns of Central Otago, exposing the region's hidden treasures from a locals perspective.

Episode 6. Ranfurly

Raelene Miller welcomes readers to Ranfurly, population 780.

How did your story in Ranfurly begin?

I grew up in Ranfurly with my family on a small farm. Went to primary school at the area school before moving away to boarding school.

After high school I moved away to Australia to work and travel, before moving back to Ranfurly in 2018.

This past year my cousin and I decided to open a wee cafe in the heart of Ranfurly.

It's been the best decision we've made to make a base in Ranfurly, not only having the rail trail booming and all the travellers through, but our wonderful local support has been out of this world. 

What do you think is one of Ranfurly's hidden treasures and why?

In summer it definitely has to be our local swimming pool!

It's right beside our brand new playground and the pool is such a great resource to have in town, it's perfect for families. 

Ranfurly is good place to take a break while doing to Otago Central Rail Trail. PHOTO: James Jubb/ Otago Central Rail Trail

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone planning a visit?

Probably to take time to explore not only Ranfurly, but the surrounding areas. 

There's some awesome wee places, walks and secret swimming spots all around us.

Chatting to local business owners to get their advice is also a great way to get directions and insights to their favourite spots.

The business owners are always there to help and are always up for a chat to visitors.

Where’s the best spot in town for lunch?

Definitely Floral and Feast!

(I may be biased - as I own it, but we think it's pretty great).

Joanna Steele (left) and Raelene Miller, who both co-own Floral and Feast in Ranfurly. PHOTO: Supplied

Where in Central Otago do you like to escape to and why?

My favourite place to escape to would definitely be Naseby Forest.

There's amazing walking and bike tracks, my dog loves zooming around the trees and my wee boy loves throwing pinecones in the water race and playing on the playground in the forest.

Plus it's only a five minute drive down the road.